Tatiana Kosheleva tallied 34 points in Russia's 3-2 win over Japan at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup at the Yoyogi National Stadium on Sunday
Japan stepped into the court with a lot of energy that overwhelmed the Russians in the first set. Japan used their quickness on offence to outplay the Russian defenders and excellent coverage on defence to seal victory in the opening set 25-12. In the second set, the Russians showed a different attack tactic that opened up the floor for Tatiana Kosheleva, Nataliya Obmochaeva and Yana Shcherban. The Russian onslaught continued throughout the set until Japanese conceded 25-18.
Both squads showed equal strength on all fronts that saw a tight contest in the third set. Russia, however, played better transition to gain edge 20-17. Russia took the third set 25-21. Another tough fight ensued in the fourth set, until Japan captain Saori Kimura scored two consecutive hits to give her team the edge 13-11. Saori made a crucial point to give Japan a 23-18 cushion but Russia responded with four straight points to cut down the Japanese lead 23-22. Japanese setter Chizuru Koto scored on a drop shot and forced a tiebreaker at 25-23.
The fifth set had a cardiac finish but Russia had a slight edge 9-8 but an error by Shcherban on the attack tied the score again at 9-all. Japan suddenly encountered some problems in their plays that allowed Russia to gain the two-point cushion 11-9, but Saori kept her team within close range at 14-13. Kosheleva had the final say as her attack ended the tiebreaker 15-13.